Pamela Morgan - Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl

Hi friends! Lately I’ve been in the mood for all kinds of bold Vietnamese flavors. I was recently thinking about an hors d’oeuvre that I’ve made a dozen times with lemongrass chicken meatballs. I serve them in mini lettuce cups with a zesty carrot and cilantro sauce. I thought, why not turn one of my favorite simple light bites into a lunch( or dinner too) that’s a little bit more filling. This is where the idea for a rice noodle bowl came to mind!

Pamela Morgan - Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl

Rice noodles are just about one of the easiest things to make and they’re filling too. Who doesn’t love a bowl full of noodles?   I thought I would start out with a bed of butter lettuce and build my bowl from there with some quick pickled watermelon and daikon radishes.

Pamela Morgan - Vietnamese Inspired Noodle Bowl

The combination of silky rice noodles, juicy meatballs, tangy radishes, and crunchy lettuce all work so well together here! I recommend always keeping some toasted sesame seeds and cilantro and mint on hand for a garnish.

Vietnamese Noodle Bowl
Vietnamese Noodle Bowl
Print Recipe Vietnamese Noodle Bowl
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 5


Lemongrass Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom 5 inches only) smashed with rolling pin, then minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Meatball Sauce

  • 1 lemongrass stalk, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely grated carrot
  • 4 teaspoons golden brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons minced green Thai chile or serrano chile with seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small Persian cucumber, thinly sliced

Pickled Radish

  • 1 cup radish
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Other Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup cooked rice noodles
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 Fresh mint and cilantro for garnish


  • Chill chicken in freezer while making lemongrass paste. Combine lemongrass, 1/2teaspoon salt, and remaining ingredients in processor; pulse until paste forms.Add chicken; pulse to blend. Shape into 24 balls (each about 1 tablespoonful).Place on rimmed baking sheet. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  • Cut bottom 3 inches from lemongrass. Smash with rolling pin, then mince.Measure 1 tablespoon and place in small bowl (reserve the rest for another use).Add lime juice, fish sauce, cilantro, carrot, sugar, and chile to bowl; whisk untilsugar dissolves.
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs; brown until cookedthrough, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to 1 side of largeplatter.
  • Arrange lettuce leaves in a bowl. Top with rice noodles, meatballs, pickled radish, sauce, fresh cilantro, mint and sesame seeds.